Tie One On!


I’m not referring to the typical meaning of this phrase…what I’m referring to here is the simple act of changing colors. Perhaps, as you work on your PKP (Practice Knitting Piece), you’re feeling an itch to change colors.  Go right ahead…pick a new color of yarn in the SAME WEIGHT yarn as your first color (I had recommended “worsted”) and follow the photos here.

When I show students how to change colors, they’re often shocked! That’s it? That’s all?  Somehow we believe that the changing of colors in a knitted or crocheted piece is nothing less than magic!  And though the effect is certainly magical, there’s no magic involved in making it happen.

First, you need to cut the yarn, leaving a long tail!!  I recommend 6 inches at least.  Then you can tie on the new yarn in one of two ways:


Lay one color over the other…

and tie a knot, not terribly tight, as close to the needle as you can.  You may wish to come back later and untie the knot before weaving the ends in.


With BOTH ends together, make a loop…

Pull the ends through the loop and tie a knot, again not too tightly.  Whichever way you tie it, that’s all there is to it!  AFTER you’re finished knitting or crocheting, you can then go back and untie the knots (IF YOU WANT TO!) and weave them in.  There’s good argument on both sides of the Knot OR Not Knot debate.  Click here to read about it and make your own choice!

Now you can just pick up the new yarn with your right hand and begin knitting with it!  (My right hand is missing from this photo since I needed it to take the photo!  I had just “run around the back”…

…and then off jumps Jack!

A few pointers:

*Try, if at all possible, to change colors at the END of a row.  This allows the knots and/or weaving in to take place in a less obtrusive spot on your knitting/crocheting.  But you are certainly allowed to tie on the new color (OR NEW SKEIN OF SAME COLOR) at any point you wish/need to.

*Leave long ends/tails.  You can always trim the ends AFTER you’ve woven them in.  But it is impossible to lengthen the yarn if you’ve only left yourself an inch or two to weave in and that just might come UNwoven after one wear or wash of the item you’ve so lovingly made.

*Go ahead and knot!  Some do try wrestling the new yarn into submission without tying a knot first.  It is just SO MUCH EASIER to tie the knot and thus have the needed tension on the yarn and a generous tail.  You can ALWAYS go  back and UNTIE the knot to weave it in knotless, should you choose to do so.

And if all this seems confusing, just take another sip of that martini.  It may not help it make any more sense, but at least you’ll be less uptight about the whole thing!

Here’s how your knitting (garter stitch) will look once you have several rows going in the new color:

and the other side looks just a bit different:

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